Early voting for the race ended Friday afternoon, with only about 220 voters turning out in Cherokee County to cast their ballots for the seat covering parts of Cherokee, Forsyth and Fulton counties, said Cherokee elections supervisor Janet Munda.
Munda said the turnout was somewhat puzzling, but it could be low for a few different reasons, one of which being that the elections office had to close down part of Tuesday and all of Wednesday and Thursday because of the snowstorm that crippled the county.
Also, as opposed to the four-candidate special election Jan. 7 which led to the runoff, only two candidates remain to get the voters out.
“You had four candidates out there working before,” she said. “Now, you only have two. You’re cutting that volume in half. Those people that had interest in that particular candidate may not have interest in another candidate.”
But Munda added that the number of people requesting mailed-out ballots has increased over the last election.
Cherokee County candidates Meagan Biello and Sam Moore are facing off for the seat Tuesday, after neither could take home more than 50 percent of the vote Jan. 7. Voters can make their pick of the two at the polls from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.
With only two candidates going out and talking the voters into hitting the polls, Munda said she wouldn’t be surprised if Tuesday had a low turnout as well.
“Maybe they’re going to come out on Election Day. The weather’s supposed to be decent,” she said. “The candidates I know are working very hard. I hate to say (voters are) just not interested. But I hope that people (will) turn around and pay attention to the importance of this, even though this person is only going to in office a very short time.”
Whoever wins the election Tuesday will be elected to complete the term of state Rep. Calvin Hill (R-Canton), who died in late October of leukemia. Qualifying for the next election will be in March, and the candidates will compete in the May primary.
But both candidates have said they planned to run for re-election quickly all along.
Biello, a 32-year-old Cherokee school teacher and Woodstock native, went a step further Friday and said she planned to run in the May primary even if she lost Tuesday. Moore, a 37-year-old former computer industry worker, said he wouldn’t rule out running again if he lost Tuesday.
On the last Election Day, Moore was the clear front-runner with 38 percent of the vote. Biello came in second over Jeff Duncan by just two votes.
If elected, Biello said she wanted to fight for a better economy and listen to voters in the district and bring their concerns to the state.
“I have true conservative values, I will stand up for families, I will stand up for education, I will fight to maintain a strong economy,” she said. “Being a mother, being an educator, I have a vested interest in this community. I want to make sure there is something there for my children when they’re older.”
Moore said he wanted to protect residents from “government intrusion,” and he felt called to serve the district.
“My team and I, we’ve visited over 10,000 voters, and everyone that was home, we would asking them what their top issue was. If you boil it down, it comes down to government intrusion, government interfering with their lives, with their businesses, government going outside of the Constitution,” said Moore, a Cherokee County native. “You hear things about Obamacare and Second Amendment rights, and it all boils down to that one thing.”